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Ditto, a platform that automatically syncs data between smartphones, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and peer-to-peer servers, today announced it has secured $ 9 million in seed funding. dollars from True Ventures and Amity Ventures. The company will use the product to grow its platform and hire new engineering talent, according to CEO Adam Fish, as Ditto expands its customer acquisition efforts.
As data becomes more distributed, entrepreneurs like Fish argue that traditional client-server software architectures can no longer support it effectively. For example, he says, during large sporting events with heavy congestion, software that relies on cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity can lose the data needed to account for ticket sales and fulfillment.
The pandemic – and the resulting digital transformation across all sectors – has exposed vulnerabilities and inequalities in infrastructure across the world, to Fish’s point. A 2020 survey conducted by the Office for Students found that 52% of American students were hampered in their learning by an unreliable internet connection. And in total, 3.7 billion people do not have access to the Internet, in part because of a lack of affordable options. A gigabyte of data costs almost 40% of the average monthly salary in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Everyone on the planet doesn’t just have a web browser [these days], but also mobile, server and IoT applications throughout their lifetimes, ”Fish told VentureBeat via email. “But today’s apps are incredibly dependent on a stable internet connection, and if connectivity just falters a bit, apps break or you lose data. Since people are so dependent on devices, this adds up to a monumental amount of cost, productivity, and customer experience. “
Fish previously co-founded Roobiq, a customer relationship management app that integrates with Salesforce to create contextual reminders and automate data entry. He then served as vice president of products at Realm, an open source mobile database, which was acquired by MongoDB in 2019 for $ 39 million.
Building on his work with database technologies, Fish and co-founder Max Alexander have created software that allows devices to synchronize data in real time, securely, using a combination of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi. Ad hoc fi and local area networks. Hardware running Ditto’s services automatically finds and connects to other Ditto-compatible hardware to synchronize changes, with or without an Internet connection.
“We founded Ditto to create a platform where developers could build web, mobile, server, and IoT applications that could [sync] real-time data and even without an Internet connection. Previously, [Alexander and I] worked together at Realm, [where our] Experience as application developers has shown that there has to be a better way to transfer data, especially in critical situations, ”Fish said.
Ditto supports offline caching, concurrent edits, and conflict resolution in environments such as iOS, Android, and server-side applications. As the company explains on its website, “Install Ditto in your app, then use the APIs to read and write data to its storage system, and then it will automatically sync any changes to other devices… Ditto automatically chooses the best transport to synchronize data. from point to point, [and in] in the event that a device cannot reach a “big peer”, the “small peers” can still communicate and exchange data … A device can transfer changes from a mesh network to the cloud. If even a small peer is connected to the internet, all data will sync with the cloud peer.
Gartner Research vice president Jason Wong told VentureBeat via email, “Ditto offers exciting new technology that could open up possibilities for using peer-to-peer applications on all devices. We’ve seen use cases for this in disaster recovery scenarios where networks are down and in mining environments for workers to collaborate and communicate. Peer-to-peer offline needs are quite specialized at the moment, but the potential of cutting-edge IoT devices and smart equipment could lead to more use cases.
Ditto can support a range of use cases, according to Fish, in industries such as manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. In a hospital, for example, Ditto’s software could help with automatic fallback and reconnection, offline telemetry, and asset tracking. Fish envisions patient monitoring devices automatically folding to nearby devices if a server or network becomes unavailable, ensuring data is preserved.
For the aviation industry, Ditto offers a solution called SkyService, a set of predefined user interface components designed to help an airline deploy a passenger and crew ordering experience. SkyService’s Crew App allows flight attendants to manage menu items, orders, and passenger information while noting aircraft faults and chatting with fellow crew members. On the passenger side, a menu and ordering experience allow customers to pre-order before boarding or during the flight, even when their devices are in airplane mode.
“For commercial use cases, Ditto enables POS in semi-disconnected environments like in major airlines and restaurants. The main industrial use cases revolve around robots and factory devices communicating with each other regardless of Wi-Fi or cellular coverage. For security and defense, everything relies on monitoring equipment maintenance and knowing the situation on the ground with other team members in austere environments, ”Fish explained. “We have a platform where your average developer can build apps for connected devices that securely sync data even without an internet connection and deploy your project in a tenth of the time. “
Beyond improving resilience, Fish presents the startup’s platform as a way for businesses to cut costs and minimize data latency. In a doctor’s office, the personal devices of patients with Ditto could connect directly to iPads instead of servers. And in a factory, data could be transferred via Ditto through a mesh network to a single device with server connectivity, eliminating the need to equip all devices with a broadband connection.
“What’s unique about Ditto is that our software combines a new distributed database with an integrated advanced peer-to-peer network,” said Fish. “The same is quickly adopted by organizations of all sizes and from different industries, such as innovative startups like HugoApp or larger established organizations like Japan Airlines. This translates to millions of end user devices running Ditto. The company has generated millions in revenue so far – we’re on track to multiply recurring annual revenue from 2020 and already have commitments in 2022 client budgets to do so again next year.
Three-year-old Ditto, headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., Has 25 employees. It plans to increase its workforce to 30 by the end of the year.
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